If you think veganism is all about salads, deficiencies and food shaming, you have got the wrong end of the stick, but that’s okay. I’m here to help you out if you’re willing to listen.
Now, I don’t know exactly what comes to your mind when you hear the word vegan, but 2 years ago I thought it was the weirdest thing on the planet. To be honest, I didn’t know much about it and there was no one around me that had a different diet. We all ate the same greasy food and bonded over our love of garlic bread and chicken kiev.
The thing is, when you don’t fully understand something it is commonplace to reject the idea straight away or dismiss it as it is unachievable. But hear me out, what is the issue with being informed? Why are we scared of knowing? Why do we purposefully keep ourselves in the dark? Knowledge is power. We know this yet we still shy away from it. Not all vegans are the angry violent people you see on your Facebook feed once a month. It is not some insane cult where we eat grass and sit meditating for 24 hours a day nor is it for people who are willing to spend £100 at Wholefoods. Most of us are just your average day Joe’s who feel enlightened now that we have taken control of our health. Veganism is truly for all, people like you and me. Spoiler: On your journey to health, there is no quick fix for years of damage, no pill or product you can buy ‑taking responsibility for your health and knowing you are in control is an awakening process — both beautiful, scary and evolving. But before we delve any further, let’s clarify a few things.
What exactly is a vegan?
A vegan is someone who does not consume any animal products or its by-products, in short — no meat, eggs, dairy, honey, leather, silk or animal-tested-on products. Take a breather, you can still eat (+ wear) so many things — Oreos, Lotus Biscuits, Peanut Butter, Crisps, Bourbons, Fox’s Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies + Hobnobs Chocolate Chips are vegan. You also can become more adventurous with cashew cheese, aubergine bacon, lentil sloppy joes, pulled jackfruit burger … the list goes on.
Why do people decide to go vegan?
The 3 main reasons why people go vegan are: the animals, the planet and their health. Some vegans see the effect the animal farming industry has on animals — the unnecessary death of beings that are sentient (able to feel) and understand, the cruelty and torture so commonplace in the factory farming industry + the destruction of habitats and nature. Others gear towards veganism because of the simple fact that we are killing this planet – from the fish dead zones to deforestation to methane and pollution, the list is endless. The last group go vegan for their health — incorporating more plants and raw foods, from the extra nutrients, added fiber and wholegrain foods, into their diet is only beneficial. But also the elimination of meat, dairy and eggs means the elimination of cholesterol and all that added sodium. You know when your parents told you to “Eat your veggies”, going vegan is like having veggies at every meal – no that doesn’t mean having salad 24⁄7, it could be a mock meat burger from mushrooms, Mexican bean tacos or a burrito, Indian dishes, Thai curry, jackfruit BBQ.
Going vegan for me opened up so many doors, the biggest one being I never actually knew what I was putting in my mouth. No clue. I hardly read labels and failed to understand how powerful the item on the end of my fork can be. I write this today, for you, in the hopes that you start this journey of enlightenment + health sooner. Don’t be overwhelmed, it’s a day by day journey. You will be amazed at what you find (spoiler: vegan kebab, ribs, burgers, fried chicken, cakes, cheesecake, brownie, sandwiches, wraps, BBQ wing) and what you can make (Mac n Cheese, cauliflower wings, quinoa pizza, cashew cheese sauce + mozzarella, cheese slices, raw brownies + cakes, peanut butter muffins). The world is truly your kitchen.
If there is one thing you take from this article, it is that veganism is for all. Do not listen to the media, the preconceptions or the memes (as funny as they may be), do you research. Begin your journey to enlightenment, creativity and fun!
Omo Eats (Mac N Cheese everyday)
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